Prosecution Introduces Guandique's Injuries

He bore injuries the day Chandra Levy disappeared

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010  |  Updated 11:26 PM EDT
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The night <a title=Chandra Levy disappeared, her accused killer told a woman he got his injuries from fighting with his girlfriend. Courtroom sketches courtesy of Bill Hennessy." />

Pat Collins, Courtroom sketches courtesy of Bill Hennessy

The night Chandra Levy disappeared, her accused killer told a woman he got his injuries from fighting with his girlfriend. Courtroom sketches courtesy of Bill Hennessy.

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A friend of Ingmar Guandique, the undocumented immigrant charged with the murder of Chandra Levy, said that the alleged killer showed up at her house on the day of Levy's disappearance.

Sheila Phillips testified today -- day three of the Levy murder trial -- that Guandique bore a number of injuries when he appeared. Phillips said that Guandique had cuts on his face, a fat lip and marks on his neck. Guandique told her that he had had a physical altercation with his girlfriend, Phillips told the courtroom.

Prosecutors say that Levy caused these injuries on the day she was murdered, News4's Pat Collins reported.

Levy's disappearance made national headlines because she was linked to then–U.S. Rep. Gary Condit Condit, though he was eventually cleared as a suspect. Then–Roll Call reporter Amy Keller was the first reporter to consider that Levy may have the victim of a random assault. She published a report for Salon suggesting Guandique as a suspect in 2002, the day after her remains were discovered in Rock Creek Park.

On Monday, prosecutors described the grisly May 2002 discovery of a 180-foot trail of evidence leading to Levy's remains, as News4's Pat Collins reported.

They acknowledged massive mistakes in the investigation into Levy's death. Police botched the investigation by mistakenly focusing on Condit, but prosecutors said they now have the man who killed Levy.

Prosecutors acknowledged that they have no physical evidence or eyewitnesses in Levy's slaying. But the attacks survived by Wiegand and another victim, Halle Shilling -- attacks of which Guandique was convicted, prosecutors said -- were both similar. Guandique had injuries consistent with a similar attack on Levy, prosecutors said.

Further, the suspect made the mistake of confessing to the Levy homicide to cellmates while he served 10 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Defense attorneys said the evidence against Guandique is practically nonexistent. The government has missed evidence and misplaced evidence and can't undo their mistakes, the defense said. They are trying to make Guandique a scapegoat for their mistakes, the defense said.

A jury of 12 women and four men, which includes four alternates, was selected last week.  The trial is expected to last at least a month.

Condit has said through a spokesman that he expects to testify.


Follow @nbcwashington.com on Twitter for the latest information from the courtroom, and check the Twitter widget below for the latest chatter on the trial. 

 

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